Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Discrimination and Marginalisation

Many are unsure of what is meant by discrimination and marginalisation, and whom it impacts.
Consider the following:
The PR state governments have, commendably, liberally granted state land and huge financial allocations on coming to power. For example:
1. RM 100 million and 400 hectares for a pig project in Sepang, Selangor.
2. 349 Rancangan Perkampungan Tersusun (RPT) and 134 New Villages in Perak, with 110,000 and 102,000 titles respectively, to be given out. Freehold titles for just RM 63 for 110,000 villagers almost 99% of whom are Malay Malaysians, and 102,000 Chinese New Villagers of whom 99% are Chinese Malaysians. “The value of these properties will then go up and they can apply for bank loans to rebuilt their houses” says Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham.
3. The Pakatan Perak government has also allocated 1,000 hectares or 2471 acres of land to 9 Chinese vernacular schools, “for them to generate revenue to pay for their operational expenses” says MB Nizar. Additionally, MB Nizar also donated RM 30,000 for each of the 9 schools. Barisan’s MB Zambry on coming into office confirmed that the issuance of titles will proceed.
4. 3.3 hectares of land for each Orang Asli family was approved, and 18,000 hectares of forest land has been gazetted as Orang Asli reserve, and another 30,000 hectares is waiting to be gazetted says Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham.
5. In Bagan Pinang the UMNO Deputy President Muhyiddin Yasin announced that RM 900,000 will be allocated to upgrade Chinese vernacular schools and Chinese temples. But for the Indians in Bagan Pinang, the Lukut Tamil school which is the only school in Malaysia and perhaps the world over which is situated on the first floor of a shop house was merely promised two (2) acres of land. As usual nothing has been given in writing, let alone having the land little issued. Even then these 2 acres of land will not be enough to cater for a school field, Assembly cum Community Hall and any future expansions. MIC went a bit further and announced that the school will get a computer and a fax machine.
A lot was done with lightning speed within about one month of the Perak and Selangor PR state governments coming into power, and in Bagan Pinang during the by-election. We were all overjoyed. What MCA and UMNO did not do in 52 years, the Pakatan government did in one month! This is what we want to see.
But hang on. Did anybody notice or ask, what about allocations to Tamil Schools? The Indian Malaysians have waited a year and a half since March 2008 but to date there is no mention of anything.
How many hundreds of hectares did the Pakatan government allocate for the 138 Tamil vernacular schools in Perak? How many NGOs and political parties have actually pointed out these omissions to those in power?
The disparity in what is done to uplift Malaysians must cease to exist. There is no cause for joy in slogans and clarion calls when politicians are able to fish for votes with empty promises and food hampers. That opportunity must no longer present itself in this country.
This is what is meant by discrimination, and this is how a Malaysian community continues to be marginalised.

By Jeevindra Kumar Krishnan, Protem Committee Member, Human Rights Party Malaysia